The Gaysh

A History of the Aden Protectorate Levies 1927-61, and the Federal Regular Army of South Arabia 1961-67

Frank Edwards

Publication date:
October 2006
Publisher :
Helion and Company
No associated books available.


The Gaysh tells the story of the emergence of an army following early attempts to protect the trade routes in and through Aden. From the first commercial treaty with the Abdali Sultan in 1802, various efforts were made to avoid looting, leading to the annexing of Aden Port by the East India Company in 1839. It was not until the Turks threatened to invade in the First World War that a regular army unit was formed. The 1st Yemen Infantry did not see action, and there was a move, on financial grounds, to disband it in 1928. Because a need remained, the decision was taken to replace its policing role by airpower, supported by a small force of levies to defend the bases, including a camel corps.

The book takes that story on, chronologically, through the Aden Protectorate Levies' growing strength and its relationship with the British Government and its policies. It includes its part in the Silver Jubilee celebration parade in 1935, pre-1939 military operations, its role in WWII, its involvement in the evacuation of the Jews following the Arab/Jewish riots in Crater in 1947, and on to the creation of the Federation and the withdrawal of the British Army in 1967.